I went on a digital growth course. It was specific to the digital industry, so it was relevant to us. The businesses involved including a range of software development, IT, creative, web etc but all within the digital field. Within going into too much detail - meeting other Creative Directors and Founders allows you to chat about problems within the workplace and how they resolved them. This experience along with a lot of reading gave me several options to test within our digital agency in Manchester.
Option 1 - Work from home
In our contracts, it states that we allow team members to work from home once a month if they wish. Some agencies allow team members to work from home whenever they want, and some people allow it every day. This definitely wouldn’t work for us. We’re a small team, we need to communicate. We don’t have a receptionist - who would answer the phone? What if a client came to visit our studio and all team members where working from home? We wouldn’t be perceived to be a professional studio on first impression.
Option 2 - Shut up
Stopping people from talking is not an option. We’re a team who enjoy collaborating on projects and talking about the weekend. Removing this social aspect all together is not for us.
Option 3 - Reducing the amount of days
Instead of working 5 days a week, reducing to working 4 days a week was an option for us. This meant that everybody would have the same deadlines but less amount of days to complete within. That means the individual would have to concentrate more, and work harder to get their jobs done. But the plus side means they have a 3 day weekend.
Option 4 - Confiscate phone and social media
We allow everyone to have their phones on their desk, check social media if they wish. It’s loose, we trust our employees to not take the piss. But another business owner doesn’t allow this in his workplace. I understand why he does that, and it would improve concentration. But for us, having your phone is not about texting your mates in group chats all day. It’s having the comfort of contacting somebody if you need too, your phone is available in an emergency if somebody tries to contact you. But checking social media is fine too, it brings inspiration within your day. I do see the benefits of this option but taking them away all together isn’t our approach.
So based on all the above, we didn’t have a solution - so after discussion, we created our own…